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The Duckhorn Portfolio purchases 107ha vineyard in Paso Robles

The Duckhorn Portfolio Inc. has bolstered its presence on California’s Central Coast by purchasing 107 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA.

The luxury wine group bought Bottom Line Ranch in the San Miguel District for an undisclosed sum. It is exclusively planted with Cabernet, featuring seven top clones on three drought-tolerant rootstocks.

Alex Ryan, chief executive and president of The Duckhorn Portfolio, said the sub-appellation’s climate is ideal for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.

‘There is a reason why Paso Robles has the most Cabernet Sauvignon acreage of any appellation in California outside of Napa Valley,’ added Ryan, who joined the company as a vineyard manager in the early 1990s.

‘In addition to producing phenomenal Cabernet Sauvignon, the Paso Robles winemaking community has done a fantastic job of building global awareness for the region and its wines. Putting down roots in this acclaimed region is an important next step in our long-term vision.’

Dan and Margaret Duckhorn founded The Duckhorn Portfolio in St. Helena, California, back in 1976. It has spent the past 46 years establishing itself as one of the leading producers of Napa Valley wines.

The group also has operations in Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, California’s North and Central Coasts, and Washington State. Its portfolio includes Decoy, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration, Canvasback, Calera, Kosta Browne, Greenwing and Postmark, and it sells wines throughout the United States and in 50 export markets.

The Duckhorn Portfolio Inc. went public on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2021, raising $300m in an IPO. It also secured “NAPA” as its ticker.

In its last earnings call, covering Q2 of fiscal 2022, Ryan described the group as ‘the fastest-growing wine supplier among the top 15 wine suppliers in the US’.

Net sales were up 18% year-on-year, while volume sales grew 24.8%, and Ryan forecasts growth of around 9% for the full year.

It is on an acquisition drive, having recently snapped up around 20ha of Napa Valley vineyards via separate deals.

The Duckhorn Portfolio plans to rename Bottom Line Ranch in the coming months.

‘This acquisition follows our long-term strategy of supporting our wineries with robust estate holdings,’ said Ryan. ‘Adding Bottom Line Ranch’s 265 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon to our estate program will provide us with exceptional grapes for both Decoy and Postmark, while cementing our commitment to the Central Coast.’

The vineyard is located near the borders of both the Estrella and Adelaida districts, on the slope of the Santa Lucia Range, and it features a Region III climate.

‘For a Cabernet Sauvignon-focused vineyard of its size, location, vine age, and quality, Bottom Line Ranch is a rare find,’ said PJ Alviso, vice president for Central Coast Winegrowing at The Duckhorn Portfolio. ‘In terms of row orientations, rootstocks and clonal selection, it has great fundamentals.’

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